For global brands the World Cup is truly brilliant, but the entry cost is extortionate. As a sponsor of the FIFA® World Cup 2014, Continental is no stranger to having limited budget to leverage this association. In the prelude to previous tournaments, Continental had used its precious allocation of World Cup tickets to barter media space with publishers. The publishers got to give away tickets and Continental got some much needed exposure. These partnerships worked hard, but didn’t build the sponsorship association with the World Cup to warrant Continental’s global investment. Our insights showed us that the previews and post mortems were never as entertaining as the game itself. Conversely, we loved how Ladbrokes and William Hill activate football through ‘in-game play’ to engage armchair experts up and down the country to vent their anger and share their expertise during the game.
We realised that predictions in the online space – in particular on Twitter – were the core media aperture.
From this insight we engaged Squawka – one of the UK’s largest football stats providers – and created a competition called #ContiPredicts that offered fans the chance to win a trip to the World Cup Final in Brazil. Fans could enter by responding to a simple question – a prediction of the performance of a player/team currently in action. By only posing questions on the day of the biggest games and about the biggest players, we would ensure maximum engagement.
We used brilliantly simple data visualisations from Squawka as our creative assetts across football websites and social media, dominating the five biggest matches of the opening ten days of the tournament. Everyone could play along because we deliberately shared data on our player/team based on their past performances. It didn’t matter if you haven’t the faintest idea how many passes Iniesta is expected to make, because Squawka gave you an expert steer. Moreover, during the first half of each game, Squawka dynamically updated our advertising with players/teams progress, encouraging more people to enter their prediction on Twitter using the hashtag #ContiPredicts
With a brilliant prize, and a competition appealing to both complete fanatics and their mums, #ContiPredicts went a little crazy. Our small budget bought 8m impressions on Twitter, but 100,000 engagements and over 11,000 competition entrants earned us 80 million impressions across just five matches. During the opening game Brazil v Croatia, Continental Tyres was only one of the sponsors to be organically trending not just in the UK, but globally. Beyond impressive scale, the campaign delivered its core objective: a 54% increase in sponsorship association.
#ContiPredicts also won 'Best Brand Engagement' campaign at the 2015 Performance Marketing Awards.